When brick kilns turn organic farming beds

Harvesting under way at a brick kiln in Kanjoor where organic farming is undertaken for four months every year.   | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The dust bowls of brick kilns give way to the lush green of organic farming for four months since May every year at Kanjoor near Kalady.

This is the fourth year that the brick kilns have been playing host to organic farming though the acreage involved was considerably less this year.

“The farming undertaken by brick kiln workers was limited to a single kiln spread over three acres alone for fear of forecasts of potential floods this year,” said M.B. Sasidharan, president of Kanjoor Service Cooperative Bank, which has been powering the initiative.

The bank gives seeds, fertilisers, and technical advice to the workers, besides facilitating the sale of crops through its outlets.

Seeds are sown during May, and the harvesting is done in August. Nearly 900 kg of assortment of vegetables are likely to be harvested this month. The farming is expected to generate revenue in the range of ₹3 lakh to ₹3.50 lakh by the end of the season.

“The crops are much sought after and get sold in no time. We hope to bring in more people and more kilns next year,” said Mr. Sasidharan.

In its four years of operation, the farming initiative suffered a major set back only in 2018 when the deluge completely washed away the crops.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 3:08:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/when-brick-kilns-turn-organic-farming-beds/article35867544.ece

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